News24

Lancaster names unchanged side

2012-03-09 12:39

March 9 - England caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster stuck with the players who lost to Wales a fortnight ago when he named an unchanged team to face France in the Six Nations championship on Sunday (17:00).

The only changes were on the bench where Tom Palmer and Charlie Hodgson come in for Courtney Lawes and Toby Flood as Lancaster kept faith with the group beaten 19-12 at Twickenham in a thrilling game decided by a late Wales try.

"We were really disappointed to lose to Wales but we took a lot out of the performance and felt it was right to pick the same starting team to go to Paris," Lancaster said in a statement on Friday.

"It will be a massive challenge going to the Stade de France and playing against an experienced and unbeaten French side but we are excited about the opportunity and want to do the country proud."

Lancaster's inexperienced England side won their two other matches in Scotland and Italy to lie third in the table on four points, while second-placed France have won two and drawn one to sit a point above them. Wales lead after three wins.

England's final match is at home to Ireland on March 17.

Teams: 

France: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Julien Bonnaire, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yohann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dmitry Szarzewski, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux

Substitutes: 16 William Servat, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Lionel Nallet, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Francois Trinh-Duc, 22 Maxime Mermoz

England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero

Substitutes: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Charlie Hodgson, 22 Mike Brown

Reuters